Deputy Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday night expressed hope that Palestinian Arabs will soon be able to pray in the “liberated Al-Aqsa Mosque”.
“The first day of Ramadan will be the day that Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque will return, the Israeli occupation will end and all of us will pray at the courtyard of the mosque,” he said in a sermon marking the start of the month of Ramadan.
In a second speech he gave on Monday, Haniyeh declared that Hamas could thwart any diplomatic initiatives by supporting the “Al-Quds Intifada”, the name Palestinian Arab factions have given to the recent terror wave against Israel.
“It is important to maintain the Al-Quds Intifada, which is the way to liberate Jerusalem and bring back the Palestinian people to their land,” he said, in comments quoted by Hamas’s Palestine newspaper.
He called on Palestinians and Muslims around the world to find a common strategy that strives to blacken the face of “the occupation” and called on the security services of the Palestinian Authority to halt the security coordination with Israel, which he called “a crime and national treason.”
Hamas has been vigorously involved in inciting terrorism during the current wave of violence, often mimicking Islamic State's style with propaganda clips staging beheadings and suicide bombings.
Haniyeh has often touted the “intifada”, saying the current wave of violence is a key factor in changing the balance of power between the Palestinian people and Israel.